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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke

SWR Big Band
Clark Terry
Jazz Matinee
hanssler CD 93.036


  1. The Zinger
  2. Easy Does It
  3. Come Sunday A Penny for Your Thoughts
  4. Jenny
  5. C T’s Express
  6. Big Bad Blues
  7. Dues Blues
  8. Tee Pee Time
  9. Sheba
  10. Cold Tater Stomp
  11. Just Squeeze Me
  12. Mumbles Returns

Clark Terry – Conductor, Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Trumpets – Thomas Vogel, Claus Reichstaller, Karl Farrent, Rudi Reindi
Trombones – Ernst Hutter, Marc Godfroid, Ian Cumming, George Maus
Saxes – Bernd Rabe, Klaus Graf, Peter Weniger, Andreas Maile
Rainer Heute
Piano – Klaus Wagenleiter
Bass Decebal Badila
Drums – Jorg Gebhardt

In the league of all time great trumpet players Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie would occupy positions one and two, I would put Clark Terry as number three his style is easy to recognise and like that of no-one else. He is a thoughtful and imaginative soloist with original ideas, an exciting style and a capability to play with great feeling and emotion. He honed his skills in the bands of Count Basie and Duke Ellington and it is hard to imagine a finer training ground.

The SWR Big Band, based in Stuttgart is extremely impressive, they play with great precision, excellent dynamics and the ability to swing as a complete entity. They are also blessed with some good soloists and always give an excellent account of themselves.

The band starts to swing right from the first number called The Zinger, it is a fine big band arrangement by Dave Leech and an ideal opener. The first soloist is Rainer Heute on Baritone, followed by Andy Maile on Tenor, Ian Cumming on Trombone and Clark himself on Flugel. All the solos are good, but Clark, as you would expect, is exceptional and the ensemble playing of the band precise and very musical.

Easy Does It, as it’s name implies is an easy swinger, this time Clark is featured on tightly muted trumpet. The band again is very impressive

As Clark was with the Ellington Band for some years as a featured soloist, it would have been surprising if there was not an Ellington number on this record.

Come Sunday shows off the soloists Flugel and he gives a masterful performanc e..

A Penny for Your Thoughts is a nice medium tempo swinger with a nice solo from the excellent Peter Weniger and Clark again on Flugel. The first class ensemble playing of the band makes a great contribution to this track.

Jenny was written by Ernie Wilkins as a dedication to Clark’s wife. I have played this chart, but not with a band who played it as well as this one does. The dynamics are most important in this piece and the SWR band get them spot on.

CT’s Express takes the tempo to really bright, the band takes the tempo in it’s stride and maintains the quality of it’s performance.

Big Bad blues is another Ernie Wilkins chart, apparently he and Clark are great friends and spend some time in one another’s company. Ernie of course wrote many charts for the Count Basie Band. Peter Weniger solos again here and a minor critiscism could be that like most modern tenor players he plays every note on the saxophone in every solo. He is such a good player that he is more than capable of thinking more of phrases than notes.

Dues Blues is a slow feature for Clark on Trumpet, it has a Ducal feeling about it and it gives him the opportunity to play some nice plunger mute sounds.

Tee Pee Time was originally written for the Clark Terry Big Band, the tune was written by Clark, with the arrangement by Hal Crook. I liked this track a lot (but then I liked all of it a lot) It ends with Clark playing chase choruses with himself, Flugel in one hand and Trumpet in the other.

Sheba was written by Clark as well, it is a good tune reminiscent of Misty. It should be heard more often.

Cold Tater Stomp is a good mid tempo blues which shows off both band and soloist to good effect.

Just Squeeze Me and Mumbles are obligatory in any Clark Terry performance and with this excellent band to support him, he really enjoys himself.

Great big band, superb soloist, great entertainment!

Don Mather



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